The Intercultural city aims at building its policies and identity on the explicit acknowledgement that diversity can be a resource for the development of the society.

The first step is the adoption (and implementation) of strategies that facilitate positive intercultural encounters and exchanges, and promote equal and active participation of residents and communities in the development of the city, thus responding to the needs of a diverse population. The Intercultural integration policy model is based on extensive research evidence, on a range of international legal instruments, and on the collective input of the cities member of the Intercultural Cities programme that share their good practice examples on how to better manage diversity, address possible conflicts, and benefit from the diversity advantage.

This section offers examples of intercultural approaches that facilitate the development and implementation of intercultural strategies.

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NEUCHÀTOI

A community conducts a dynamic open discussion of its evolving identity
2016
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Neuchàtoi is an ongoing campaign and dialogue platform to create an open discussion of how the city of Neuchâtel is evolving over many years of immigration, in terms of its identity and intercultural relations.  Formed as a community trust, The Neuchàtoi Association initiates and encourages various actions of public interest in the field of social cohesion and intercultural relations.  

Neuchàtoi’s themes and activities have been renewed every 3 or 4 years since it was launched. The first edition was held in 2006 and was intended to question the Neuchâtel identity. This was followed, in 2009 by a second edition with the theme of youth, and a third in 2013 on diversity in public space. 

For the 2016 cycle the themes are secularism and religious plurality - increasing the opportunities for citizens to get to know but also to value diversity and respect for the plurality while identifying common values and principles in the community. More specifically:

  • Living Together With Our Beliefs: Neuchatel, Secularism And Religious Plurality
  1. What are the issues in Neuchâtel regarding secularism and religious plurality?
  2. What role do religions and religious communities play in this secular canton?
  3. What understanding has the population of the inclusive secularism? What does this model do to promote cohesion?
  4. How to manage religious diversity in everyday life, in the relationship between state and citizens, in schools and in public institutions?
  • Deconstruct Stereotypes: Religious Discrimination And Affiliation
  1. What is the place of (non) belief in the lives of individuals?
  2. What are the common foundations for co-creating a common citizenship?
  3. What stereotypes are conveyed on religions and how to deconstruct them?

These are some of the questions that Neuchàtoi wants to share with the public through events taking place throughout the canton during coming months. The discussions that will take place around the symbolic table of the mandala Neuchàtoi 2016, will both reflect on secularism, highlight the existing religious diversity and encourage constructive discussion.


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